Global health – Women first

Over the past two weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to start to learn more about challenges and issues in health on a global scale. The link between improving the health of a woman the subsequent improvement of the health of a nation was a concept that was familiar to me through commonplace discussions and rhetoric from NGO’s and multilaterals, but I was fascinated to begin to touch upon details of the nature of the relationship in association with malnutrition and maternal health. Staggering proportions of mortality and morbidity in the so-called “developing” countries are continually reported from the issues above in addition to other diseases which play their role in compounding the situation. Skewing the focus of any health-related intervention towards women of all ages (appropriate to each health challenge) whether it be for improved socio-economic conditions, including raising education levels, lays the foundation for long-term improvements and provides a chance to attempt to weaken vicious cycles of poor health outcomes often reported. I think Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the current executive director of UN Women, touches on a part of this in the clip, from the angle of empowerment.

http://www.theguardian.com/global-development/video/2013/nov/19/un-women-phumzile-mlambo-ngcuka-video

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KEEPTHEBEAT – A parent’s perspective on the Safe and Sustainable NHS review

Yesterday Adam Tansey, co-founder of the children’s charity ‘KEEP THE BEAT’, described his emotional journey with his youngest son, 4-year-old Albert, who was born with half a heart. From day one Tansey’s family have relied on the expertise and the Intensive Care Unit in Glenfield Hospital which have been key to keeping Albert alive especially for his unexpected turns for the very worst . Therefore Adam’s passion to do all that he can to save Glenfield Hospital is understandable especially seen as there has been debate over the validity of the data and techniques used to come to the decision to close the four childrens’ heart surgery units, Glenfield being one of them (more details about the Safe and Sustainable Review can be found on the NHS specialist services website, including the report of the public consultation).  It showed me that, through all the political wrangling and to-ing and fro-ing within the judical process, it is ultimately the lives of Albert, Adam and his family that will be affected. For them, losing this hospital will be devestating, a feeling many in boardrooms may have failed to realise.

To support Keep the Beat, supporting families affected by congenital heart defects,  visit http://www.keepthebeat.co.uk/site/index.php

A huge thanks to Adam for a very poignant talk.

Sustainable energy in rural communities

Storage of hospital vaccines and medicines in a cold environment is something routine and hardly a matter we tend to think about in the UK. But for many rural communities across the world, having a steady supply of electricity is yet to become a reality.  Lack of refrigeration facilities can have a great impact on healthcare provision and, subsquently, the lives of people passing through rural clinics. The article looks at how one village in Mutare South, Zimbabwe has overcome this: